Sunday, September 02, 2007

Hot Potato

The Google "Gmail: A Behind the Scenes Video" that promotes their Gmail application by making a pitch to the audience's emotions and exploiting the international and inter-generational dynamics of the web for commercial purposes has a troubling side to its feel-good visual rhetoric.

Because these amateur filmmakers are highlighting the logo of a corporate product, how is this different from having the video volunteers hand off a McDonald's "M" in each cut? What if these volunteers were shown passing a pair of handcuffs to publicize Amnesty International or a set of dogtags to ask that the soldiers in Iraq be brought home? Would their collective labor be better spent?

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